Wanderer D 4,660 followers · 44 stories

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  • 1 week
    SA Round 134

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Matthew trotted around the compound, very very lost. He was looking for a specific room, Room 4476. There was no 4476. There was Room 4475, a stairway to Tartarus, and then Room 4477.

    This was an issue. Room 4476 was where he had to turn in reviews. Where if he didn’t… well, he didn’t even want to think about that outcome.

    It was at this moment that Cynewulf came around the corner. And when Matthew decided to stop poorly narrating everything, and swap into dialogue.


    “Hey, hey Cyne!” he shouted to her.

    “Yeah? What’s up?” she asked.

    “Any idea where Room 4476 is?”

    “Uhh… yeah. It’s eight floors down. Didn’t you pay attention to the directions?”

    “Well… no… but I thought I could just follow the numbering!” Matthew cried.

    “Well, you better get down there. And soon. Ferret looks about ready to start choppin’ heads.”

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    4 comments · 1,007 views
  • 3 weeks
    SA Round 133

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The sound of Intern’s dragging feet echoed in the empty hallways of the Seattle’s Angels campus. Why PaulAsaran asked for his office to be in the most remote part of the compound was anyone’s guess. After nearly an hour of scouring rooms, he finally came upon one that looked promising, if only because of the glow under the door. He would finally get the help he needed. Reviewing for SA two sessions in a row was nothing short of brutal, but Red had been positive Paul could back him up.

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    6 comments · 1,201 views
  • 5 weeks
    SA Reviews #132

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The Seattle’s Angels found themselves crowded in a classroom, each sitting at a desk with a pencil and notebook set on top. At the head of the class, standing on top of a teacher’s desk with a ruler in paw, was Ferret.

    Matthew looked around, then raised his hand. “Didn’t we do this plot thread a few weeks ago?”

    Ferret’s stare bored into him, making him shrink back. “This is different. It seems that even after years of experience, some of you are still getting reviews in late. A week late!”

    “I don’t think I’ve ever been late,” Intern piped in.

    Ferret stomped on a switch. A wooden hammer fell on Intern’s head. He slumped over his desk, a red welt forming where the hammer had landed.

    “Anyone else have something cute they want to say?” Ferret gazed over the crowd as if daring anyone to talk back.

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    5 comments · 1,241 views
  • 7 weeks
    SA Reviews #131

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Paul’s eye twitched. If someone looked close enough, they might have seen the tension in his hands, like he was preparing to strangle said someone. “What do you mean, late?”

    Cyne merely shrugged, not taking her eyes off the TV. To her, it was just another day.

    Little did she know that Paul was descending into his own personal hell, memories of snapping elementary teachers and the eyes of dozens of fellow, on time students boring into his increasingly warm face. “We can’t be late.”

    “Sure we can. It’s called the passage of time. People get busy, y’know?”

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    5 comments · 1,629 views
  • 10 weeks
    SA Reviews #130

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “It wasn’t until this moment that Intern realized just how large the Seattle’s Angels compound was. Entire days could be lost trying to familiarize oneself with just a single wing, let alone the months it would take to explore the whole building. But as Celestia as his witness, he was determined to do it or so help him!”

    “Intern, you’re monologuing again,” said a voice from above. “And you’re doing it in third person.”

    Snapping his mouth shut, Intern looked up to see Red perched on top of a protruding branch from the wall. He nibbled on a nut as he regarded the befuddled temp-reviewer. “Is this what you’ve been doing all month? Getting lost and talking to yourself?”

    “No,” Intern said, arms folded across his chest. “I’ve been very productive this entire time.”

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    6 comments · 1,902 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA Reviews #129

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Corejo flipped through his Reviews folder one last time before making it up the stairs toward Ferret’s room. Yep, all there! He threw on a jaunty smile and strode up to her door… which was locked?

    A little red note taped to the door read in commanding read marker: OUT TO LUNCH. SLIP YOUR REVIEWS UNDER THE DOOR.

    Huh. Normally Ferret left the door open on Review Day so she could see their bright, sunshiny faces when they walked in. Whatever.

    Corejo shrugged and did as the sign said. And then he drummed his hands on his thighs. And then he looked around.

    Huh. Where were the shenanigans? There were supposed to be some wacky shenanigans that magically happened right about now at the worst possible time and inconvenienced him, because comedic coincidence dictated so.

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    5 comments · 1,918 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA Reviews #128

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “So, Cyne?” asked Matthew, “whatcha up to?”

    “Oh, you know, just getting some reviews in,” she replied.

    “But… there’s no school anymore. And no school means no reviews! We’re free!” he shouted, literally leaping for joy.

    Cynewulf slammed a stack of papers onto the table in front of her. “Ha! Shows what you know. Summer school is now in session.”

    “NNOOoooOOooOOOooooo…”

    ROUND 128

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    10 comments · 2,430 views
  • 16 weeks
    SA Reviews #127

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “Listen up, class! Today I will teach you all that is necessary to build a fanbase.” PaulAsaran spun on his heel and began to write on a chalkboard. “Take good notes. A five page essay and three mock-up reviews will be due next week.”

    A series of groans filled the classroom.

    Intern, wearing his now customary janitor uniform, stopped by PaulAsaran on his way to dump out a trash bin. In a low whisper, he said, “That’s more than we do in two weeks.”

    “Hush, you,” PaulAsaran replied. “I’m in my element.”

    “What do you mean by that?”

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    5 comments · 2,247 views
  • 18 weeks
    SA Reviews #126

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    A loud thump announced the arrival of Novel Idea into the dreaded dungeons of the Seattle’s Angel’s complex. To his surprise, the place had been completely redecorated. To his horror, he instantly recognized the new motif.

    Detention?!” he cried. “I’ve never been in detention in my life!”

    He turned to glare at the slide he’d been just dropped down. Corejo stood above, looking imperious—or at least trying to, it was Corejo after all.

    “You can’t do this to me! I’ll do my freaky time magic thing again!”

    “School’s in session. All of it.” Corejo winked—he actually winked—and pulled a level straight out of the Acme Budget Villain Catalogue. The portal closed with a resounding snap.

    He grumbled to himself and stomped over to the desk with his name on it and plopped down.

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    3 comments · 2,311 views
  • 19 weeks
    SA Reviews #125

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Corejo, as a Seattle’s Angel, had experienced many weird things during his tenure as a reviewer. Multiple base explosions, the fabric of spacetime ripping apart with seeming regularity, and the slightly disturbing obsession Red had for nuts.

    Even with all that, today was already vying for his top five list in terms of stuff he didn’t expect to be a part of when he woke up that morning.

    “Okay class!” Ferret announced from her position on top of a teacher’s desk. Before her, a room full of kids and a few adults sat at wooden desk, pencils and papers at the ready. “Today beings the first day of the School of Reviewers!”

    Corejo raised his hand.

    “Oh, and I see we already have a question. What is it?”

    “Yeah, uh, what is even the heck? Why do we have a reviewer school?”

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    15 comments · 2,166 views
Oct
10th
2017

Story Reviews » SA Reviews #113 · 1:59am Oct 10th, 2017

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


"What's that in your mouth?"

"It's a pipe," said Cyne, and jabbed the briary thing at Archonix from her comfortable chair by the fire, that flickered low and dark, and smoked more than a thoughtful philosopher at three in the morning when the rain is scattering drops in careful patterns across dust-rimed windows.

Archonix raised his eyebrows. "And it comes with all that prose for free, does it?"

Cyne clomped her teeth around the pipe and glared at Archonix. "You smoke one as well, you donkey."

"Only when I'm trying to write reviews," said Archonix. "And that's discrimination that is."

Cyne didn't answer, preferring to stare into the fire and to think long thoughts, something entirely alien to Archonix on the best of days. They sighed in unison.

ROUND 113


Miss Cheerilee has always looked out for her former pupil, Pinkamena Diane Pie ("Pinkie" to her friends).

Hooves must always (always) look after his current employer, Roland Bertram Aethelnoth Whickers the Third, Viscount Astley ("Bertie" to his friends).

But when Bertie met Pinkie, something happened that neither the schoolteacher nor the butler had looked for.


I adore Jeeves and Wooster. I cannot get enough of it; neither the books nor the television series with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

I'm more than fond of the clash-of-the-classes sort of fiction, the mixing of refinement and, for want of a better word, crudity, even if it is at something of a remove.

Of a Cheerilee both middle-aged and so protective of her students that she'd accidentally—well.

And I've met TheJediMasterEd at Bronycon - he mixes a mean manhattan, if I do recall correctly - so I am ridiculously partial about this particular entry.

There's even a bit of mythological worldbuilding. This thing is my bread and butter.

The first time I ever talked to Ed, he commented on a story of mine to unravel a thread of suggestion I had half-buried and half-forgotten and it was delightful. I’m glad to say his own writing is the same.

This is a love story, but probably not like you’re used to seeing it. It’s a “how they got together” story but its also… again, not like you’re used to seeing. It’s about two very different people and the strangeness of emotional attachment. It’s about chess, and I mean that in more than one way. It’s also about Cheerilee, and I’ll admit that having just become a teacher I was kinda touched.

The style reminds me of the sort of thing I would hand out to a ENG 201 class in college, that sort of “Contents of the Dead Man’s Pocket”/ Rabbit style of New York newspaper fiction prose but with a touch of the artistic sort one only finds in someone who has an active internal monologue and a more than passing familiarity with writers who like to play around with the conventions of putting words into sentences. In short, it’s good and it manages to make stream of conciousness work in a few places. I highly recommend.


Manehattan leaves its hoofprint on everypony who ventures into it.


This feels like a romance.

I'm not saying that to complain, mind you. It isn't mistagged; it's nothing of the sort. It's just two new friends enjoying coffee together while they try to weave some semblance of understanding from the raw tangle of emotions wrapped around and between them like so much colourful cotton.

I say it feels like a romance because romances are about that deep, emotional bond and that understanding of the self, or at least they're a facsimile of it. The best are also subtle about it; rather than waving the emotional undercurrents in your face like a flag, they drape it insubstantially about your mind, leaving only impressions and thoughts and feelings. Silken spectres in place of the neon emotionalism of the lesser writer.

Two friends having coffee. Someone with less investment in the story would have made it a romance. It wouldn't have been nearly as good.

Anyone who has ever asked me what FiMFic writers I like or admire has heard me talk about Hoof-ful before. There’s a reason for that.

Hoof-ful gives us my favorite sort of story--the extraordinary in the mundane. It’s a kind of thing I do a lot myself, and its a kind of thing I enjoy immensely in others’ writing. There’s so much that happens in small, quiet moments, so much that one can miss and so easily. The world blurs around small fixed points in time, odds and ends that always make me think about J. Alfred Prufock but without the whole, you know, alienation thing.

True Colors is a simple story. It’s a bit of coffee after a big emotional moment. It’s a mare processing a lot of things at once in a brave new world, Rarity murmuring in a coffee shop, and a bit about Manehattan and colors. On the surface, not much to write about. But Hoof-ful really is a master of the conversation. Much like they did in “Both Sides Now”, they manage to create dialogue that is pregnant with suggestion but never absolutely committing to one extreme or the other. Sometimes the cigar is just a cigar--and sometimes coffee is just coffee. Except when it’s not really about coffee at all.


After an argument with Twilight, Luna is out of sorts. Smasher, a clumsy colt with a penchant for breaking valuables, isn’t having the best day either.


The main thing about Luna, the one defining thing about her, is that she's out of place. Even in the latest episodes, she's a little awkward and a little oddly out of tune with the way other people think. At the same time, her outsider status gives her insights that others might not have.

More than anything, they give her empathy for other outsiders, for others who might not quite fit into the world they're meant to be a part of.

Though painted within the frame of a relationship, this story is Luna's isolation and empathy serving as a means to impart confidence and wisdom to a youngster who can't quite find his place. It's probably one of the better uses of the character I've read.

The thing about other people is that they are other people, and by default we are always to some extent on uneven footing. Like a general relying on reports from miles away about things he knows only as symbols on a map, we have only fragmented and often contradictory information. Sartre said that “Hell is Other People” but I tend to think that it’s more that other people are beautiful, fractured things and that care is needed.

This is a story about Luna coming across a class trip after a particularly unpleasant spat. The Luna in this story is excellent, not straying overmuch into archaism but retaining some of the dignity we associate with anachronism. The foals she talk to are by turns hilarious and honestly pretty true to life. The lesson is solid. And there is a lesson! The Aesop is strong with this one, and while I’m sometimes unsure of such things, I can confidantly say that this one is both needful and told well.


Before Sunset Shimmer tried to take over a high school, long before she fled through the mirror portal, in the days before she was even the personal student of Princess Celestia, the young filly met Canterlot's most elusive stranger. He gave her a secret. And then a gift. And finally, a revelation.

In the end, he really only brought Sunset a curse.


This one hurt; right in the "feels" as you youngins say. While the mechanism of its framing might seem a little cliché at first, this particular take digs right into the core of Sunset's character and draws out the thing that really makes her tick. It shows her as a young filly, as an outsider, who sees the world just that little bit differently.

Sunset is like Twilight, driven to seek knowledge. Both are powerful; both shun friendships and relationships in favour of gaining Celestia's approval and acquiring new knowledge. The difference is why: Twilight sought the knowledge for its own sake; Sunset for the promise of the power that knowledge would grant her.

Perhaps being out of place has been the theme of this whole week, or perhaps - like Sunset - I'm just seeing things that I want to see rather than the things that are right there.

I’ve seen a lot on why Sunset Shimmer went wrong. Arrogance, reckless abandon, greed, even Celestia being her long lost mother--all these I’ve seen. This story rests comfortably somewhere between childish hubris and the will to power. Sunset is still in Magic Kindergarten, and she is bright and possessed of the absorbed mentality that we excuse in children because they are perhaps the only ones who can possess it innocently.

What is excusable in a child is less excusable in one who steps into things they should not. She is only a child, after all, and as we see, she is not really prepared for what she wants and the things she must do to attain those desires. Nor is she really understanding what exactly the nature of the things she desires. Sometimes, we just want the wrong things.


"Next time, we do this my way," Archonix said. He pulled out a bottle of gin and grinned. "Trust me, it'll be a blast."

Cyne raised her eyes to the heavens.

The rain continued to fall.


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

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Comments ( 4 )

Hmm, may need to check some of these out.

Also:

ROUND ##

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Glad to see Hoof-ful getting more recognition. :)

I positively appreciate the style of this review. Thank you all.

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